Welcome To Swain County

Social Services

Parent Survival Tips


Children need and want rules.  Rules help children learn right from wrong.  Rules set reasonable limits, and they encourage children to take responsibility for their own behavior.  Children can begin to follow rules whey they can use words to express how they think and feel and contribute to creating the rules.  Infants are too young to understand rules. 

  • Limit the number of rules to five or fewer
  • Let your child participate in developing the rules.
  • Make the rules “Do’s” rather than “Don’ts”
  • Make a list on consequences for breaking rules
  • Be consistent in applying the rules and consequences


Letting your children choose between two options is a good way to help children learn how to manage their own behavior.  Make sure that you give two options that you can live with. 



Let kids know that their behavior is unacceptable, but that they are not “bad”.

  • Tell the child what you see (make it visible, because they may not notice what they’re doing).
  • Tell the child how his/her behavior makes you feel and why.
  • Tell the child what you want to happen.
  • Let the child know what will happen if the behavior occurs again.



Ignoring is a form of positive discipline that helps stop irritating but harmless behaviors like whining and temper tantrums.

  • Pretend that you do not notice the behavior (even if it gets worse).
  • When the behavior stops, praise the child immediately.
  • Use the same strategy every time and the episodes of undesirable behavior will become more infrequent.



  • Like adults, children respond better to praise and rewards than they do to punishment.  They usually repeat the behaviors that adults praise.  Catch your children doing something right as much as possible. 
  • Show interest in your child, check homework, talk about what's happening at school, let your child have friends over, etc..
  • Communication is a must, but try to listen to your child and do less talking yourself.  Put down your book or paper; turn off the TV or the computer; stop what you are doing and give them your full attention.  Try to understand their point of view, even if you don't agree with it.  Talk with your child as if you would want them to talk to you.  Remember they learn what they see and hear.  Permit expression of ideas and feelings, even if they are very different from your own.  People can agree to disagree and mutual love and respect exists even when our opinions differ.  Refrain from lecturing and rather encourage discussion. 
  • Assign kid-size chores.  Kids of all ages love to be helpful.  Just make the chores fit with the child's capabilities.  if it is too easy or too difficult, then you will lose the child's interest. 
  • There are no perfect children.  Are you expectations too high for your child?  If your children consistently fail to meet your expectations, the expectations probably need changing, not the children.
  • If you know what to expect from children, you will be able to offer them activities which they can complete with success.  If we push children too hard and expect more than they can deliver, their failures will makethem begin to feel that they can never be good enough.  Children need successes to build upon.


Department of Social Services
80 Academy Street
Bryson City, NC 28713

Mailing Address
PO Box 610
Bryson City, NC 28713


Sheila Sutton, Director
Phone 828-488-6921
Fax 828-488-8271

Office Hours